3 Strategies to Run an Effective Google AdWords Campaign

by Lily Zhu

Date

July 27, 2010 at 8:00 AM

Paid search is a complement to organic search, not a replacement.

At HubSpot , we always stress the importance of creating valuable content to strengthen presence on search engines and generate high-quality website traffic. The importance of organic search, however, does not imply that paid search is entirely valueless. Paid search may target audiences different from those drawn from organic search and thus maximize your reach to potential customers. In addition, paid search can serve as testing stone for keywords to optimize for organic search. If your website is new to search engine optimization and you don’t know which keywords will draw higher conversion rates, you can quickly test the popularity of different keyword phrases using Google AdWords campaign and later specialize in more popular ones for organic search.

Google AdWords

Paid search can be expensive, but with careful design, you can maximize the effectiveness of your Google AdWords campaign. Integrating expert insights from the Service Marketplace providers , here are 3 strategies to increase conversion rates from your paid search advertisements:

1. Consistent keyword focus both lowers cost and increases quality site traffic.

When the keywords you stress in a Google AdWords closely match the content on the subsequent landing page , Google will view your site as providing quality search result and assign your website a higher Quality Score. As a website that makes money from optimizing high-quality, relevant content, Google is incentivized to award quality search results, which it does by charging you less money. Another major advantage of focusing on the same sets of keywords on Ad copy and a landing page is that it tends to generate quality website traffic—for the same reason. Prospects interested in the keywords you bid for will likely stay engaged if they find similar content on the landing page and have a higher likelihood to convert to leads.

PPC

2. Change default settings because what Google perceives as a successful ad does not necessarily match your business objectives.

For your convenience, Google sets default for many fields. Default settings, however, don’t necessarily work best for your business objectives. For example, geographical area is set to United States and Canada, automatic bidding is on, ad rotation (which allows you to alter the frequency of showing different ad campaigns) is set to “show better performing ad more often.” If you target only customers from specific geographic areas, covering the entire United States is a waste of money. Even if you intend to attract customers from all over the world, it is still a good idea to test in which states your ad generates the higher lead conversion rate and thus performs most cost-effectively.

The latter two—automatic bidding and ad rotation—are how Google makes extra money to your detriment. Automatic bidding saves you some work, but the price of convenience is your loss of knowledge of how your bidding price changes. The algorithm Google uses is behind the screen, and you can be spending more money than you need to achieve the same results. Another thing to keep in mind is that Google’s definition of a successful ad can be different from yours. Better performance means more clicks to Google, while your standard might be higher conversion rate.  If you set ad automation to “show better performing ad more often,” it’s possible that you eliminate a campaign that generates 5 clicks with a 100% conversion rate in exchange for one that generates 100 clicks that generate only 2 leads. Know your objectives and stay in control. The screenshot below shows what NOT to do.

Automatic Bidding resized 600

3. Test your ad from multiple dimensions to find the combination that maximizes its effectiveness.

As mentioned, paid search can become a heavy ongoing expense. Maximizing the return of each dollar you spend is therefore a smart way to reduce marketing cost. One of the strengths of Google Ads Dashboard is that you can create multiple ad campaigns in a matter of seconds. Using different campaigns, you can test the exact same keyword phrases targeted at different locations to determine which areas are your products or services “hotter”; alternatively, you can try different keyword phrases in the same regions.

Time of the day and day of the week may also matter to your ad’s success. Some people set a time range on when the ad can be displayed, but that invariably leaves the rest of the day or the week out of your experiment, and you will never get to know if your ad might achieve better results with these untested time ranges. As a result, we encourage you to let your ad run uninterrupted during the experimental stage and then target criteria that yield high lead conversion rate or other business goals.

What other suggestions do you have for kick-starting your Google Adwords campaign ?

Photo: The Budget Fashionista

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